Lionsgate and the filmmakers of The Hunger Games have announced that actor Wes Bentley (American Beauty, Ghost Rider) has been cast in the role of Seneca Crane in the adaptation of Suzanne Collins’ worldwide best-seller.
Bentley joins a cast of talented young actors – Jennifer Lawrence as series heroine Katniss Everdeen with Willow Shields as little sister Primrose, and Josh Hutcherson, who was cast as Peeta Mellark, with Liam Hemsworth in the role of Gale Hawthorne. Paula Malcomson will be playing Katniss and Primrose’s mother. It was also confirmed that Elizabeth Banks has signed on for the part of Katniss’ pre-games handler Effie Trinket.
Seneca Crane is the “Head Gamemaker” of the 74th Hunger Games, in which heroine Katniss Everdeen and childhood acquaintance Peeta Mellark are forced to compete against one another and 22 other young people in a life-threatening survival setting after Katniss bravely volunteers herself to enter the arena in the place of her younger sister.
Every year in the ruins of what was once North America, the nation of Panem forces each of its twelve districts to send a teenage boy and girl to compete in the Hunger Games. Part twisted entertainment, part government intimidation tactic, the Hunger Games are a nationally televised event in which “Tributes” must fight with one another until one survivor remains.
Pitted against highly-trained Tributes who have prepared for these Games their entire lives, Katniss is forced to rely upon her sharp instincts as well as the mentorship of drunken former victor Haymitch Abernathy. If she’s ever to return home to District 12, Katniss must make impossible choices in the arena that weigh survival against humanity and life against love.
The Hunger Games will be directed by Gary Ross, and produced by Nina Jacobsons Color Force in tandem with producer Jon Kilik. Collins’ novel, which has over 3 million copies in print in the United States alone, is the first in a trilogy of novels which have developed a global following.
Lionsgate will release The Hunger Games on March 23, 2012.